Maine State Aquarium
The Maine State Aquarium offers a collection of regional sea life that can be viewed in tanks set in the main gallery walls and a 20 foot long touch tank to encourage children to engage their senses with a variety of sea creatures. The Maine State Aquarium is operated by the Maine Department of Marine Resources.
194 McKown Point Road
West Boothbay Harbor, Maine 04575
Suggested ages for visiting: Good for all ages!
Admission: Fee charged
“We had a great visit! There were lots of things to do and see: touch a shark, learn about lobsters, or try fishing off the pier….There were picnic tables for eating that overlook the bay. A short walk took us to the pier, where we could try fishing and pulling crab pots (with real bait)!”
Sensory Alerts: “For us, it was helpful that there were lots of different spaces and sensory opportunities, both indoor and outside (although outdoors is weather contingent). There were enough places to go that we never felt crowded even though there were lots of people there. The main room of the aquarium was small and can get a little loud, but there were many choices about what to focus on: fish tanks, a touch tank with coastal creatures, and the shark tank. The porch offered more hands-on and tactile exhibits. There’s also a separate building with self-guided art projects.”
York’s Wild Kingdom
A family oriented zoo and amusement park with a large number of beautifully landscaped animal exhibits; numerous rides for all ages plus food and ice cream stands, picnic area, and gift shop.
York Beach ME
*See website for directions or use this address for GPS directions:
1 Animal Park Road
York, ME 03909
Days/Hours: Opens May 26th for 2018 season. Zoo opens at 10am, Amusement Park opens at noon, weather permitting. Days and closing times vary according to season, so see website for most-up-to date listings.
Suggested ages for visiting: Zoo is good for all ages. Amusement rides are geared for smaller children with various height restrictions for specific rides, however there is a Super spiral, Go Karts, and Bumper cars for older children. See website for specific ride restrictions.
Admission: Fee charged, with options to visit just the Zoo, just the Amusement Park, or both areas. See website for most up-to-date pricing.
MAIER partnered with YWK in the fall of 2016 to host a MAIER Family Partnership (MFP) event, which was a huge success! (See our news post about the event here) Families told us the Park was small enough not to be overwhelming, yet big enough to offer a variety of options and excitement. The Park can get very busy (and hot) on summer days, however, so consider downloading MAIER’s “Suggestions for Visiting YWK” handout developed for families attending the 2016 event.
Consider attending on a day when crowds are smaller, (i.e., early or late in the season, early/late in the day) or take a break in the day by visiting downtown York Beach during the most crowded time of day- your entry wristband allows you to reenter the park later in the day!
Zoos and amusement parks offer a wide variety of sensory experiences, some which may be difficult for your child. To help prepare for your visit, download our “Suggestions for Visiting the Park” from 2016 MAIER MFP event at YWK.
Download the Printable Map of York’s Wild Kingdom ahead of time to plan your day!